This edition of DOs And DON’Ts takes a look at the lowly Houston Astros 40-man roster through the eyes of a fantasy baseball addict always looking for a good bargain with little to no risk or investment of more than a few bucks. The Astros’ roster is filled with low-risk/low-investment types who could provide your team with some value in deep, mixed league formats or those shallow NL-only ones.
Below is some advice on who to target in your drafts and who to avoid when it comes to the Astros for the 2012 season:
- DO realize the best pitcher on this starting staff, Wandy Rodriguez, will probably be traded before the trade deadline if he puts up quality numbers in the first half. If he were to stay with the Astros for all of 2o12, you’re probably looking at no more than an 11-11 type season with an ERA around 3.50 with a 1.30 WHIP and 175 Strikeouts.
- DON’T bother with 1B/3B Brett Wallace until he proves two things: he’ll be the starting third baseman out of the gates in April and that he lives up to the potential he showed in the minor leagues.
- DO expect SP Bud Norris to become the ace of this staff in 2012. His 8.8 K/9 should get him close to 200 Strikeouts in 2012 and with an ERA of 3.77, FIP of 4.02 and an xFIP of 3.73, his numbers seem even more legit. Problem is he probably won’t win many games and could hurt you with his 1.41 career WHIP. Invest wisely but do invest…as late and as cheaply as you can.
- DO know OF Jordan Schafer has 30+ stolen base potential. You may not get much else from him offensively but cheap steals are cheap steals.
- DON’T know why SP Brett Myers is still on this team? Me neither. How can a team with an overall payroll somewhere in the $70M range commit $11M to just one player, and a mediocre one at that. I’d avoid him at all costs unless he were moved to a contender this Spring.
- DO believe the hype on 2B Jose Altuve. He’s hit and run at every level of the minors and even during a his first taste of the majors (.276 BA; 7 SB in 57 games). He shouldn’t be your starting second baseman but deserves a roster spot in any competitive league using additional roster spots (or NL-only ones).
- DON’T go sniffing around in this bullpen looking for a closer unless you’re a desperate, gambling man. Juan Abreu is listed on several sites around the web as the leading candidate to close out games. If you don’t “pay for saves” and wind up fishing around in the Astros’ pen, you’d better hope he continues to bring the Strikeouts at the 16.2 K/9 rate he brought them in 6.2 innings pitched in 2012.
- DO watch what kind of numbers and playing time J.D. Martinez and Jason Bourgeois get in Spring Training. The outfield will be crowded with unknowns (young players with varying levels of upsides) so guess carefully or avoid altogether. Be aware if Bourgeois gets additional playing time at second base.
- DON’T forget about SS Jed Lowrie as a late-round pick. The time to shine for this “Twitter legend” is now. Put up or shut up.
- DO expect decent power numbers from 1B/OF Carlos Lee until he is traded. Like Myers, it is UNBELIEVABLE a player with a 35 year old player with an $18.5M salary is still on this roster. His value goes up with a move the AL as a DH. Hopefully that’s not in 2013 with the Astros.
The Astros could have a decent amount of late-round roster-fillers on their roster but none are worth losing sleep over if you miss out on them come draft day. I imagine many of these names coming across many of this season’s “waiver wire” fantasy baseball articles as positional battles become clearer, veterans get traded and rookies succeed and/or fail.
You can check out all of the “DOs And DON’Ts” teams covered so far by various Full Spectrum Baseball writers by clicking this link. We’re working diligently to get all 30 teams covered before you start drafting your team(s).
Leave a comment below if there’s a particular player on this roster you’re planning on investing heavily in as a regular or your go-to sleeper this season. You can also reach me on Twitter with a follow @DJAubain, too.